New York Construction Accident News – Crane collapse-grand jury indicts contractor

New York City construction contractor charged with manslaughter. NYC crane collapse last spring killed 6 workers plus 1 Florida woman. – A contractor was charged with manslaughter Monday for allegedly using worn, fraying safety straps. The straps broke apart and caused a crane to crash down on a Manhattan neighborhood, killing seven people. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), in one of the city’s worst construction accidents in decades, William Rapetti and his company, Rapetti Rigging Services Inc., were indicted by a New York grand jury. Court documents reveal indictments on seven counts of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide when a 19-story tower crane collapsed on March 15, 2008. The accident totaled a townhouse and upset the quiet neighborhood located just a few blocks from the United Nations.

The crew used half the number of protective nylon slings needed to hold up a steel brace that connected the crane to the tower. Construction experts suggest 8 nylon slings are typically needed for the brace. One of only four slings used was over worn and the others were tied around sharp edges of the crane, which caused them to fray and sever.

The four slings couldn’t hold the 12,000-pound brace, known as a collar, and it fell to the ground, disconnecting the braces below it and causing the crane to tip over and crash. The victims included six construction workers operating the crane and a Florida woman visiting for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

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